Julie Barker, director, Field Human Resources and Recruiting, Appirio, and a 2005 graduate of the Kelley School of Business Indianapolis, was recently honored as Human Resources Professional of the Year, receiving the Award for Professional Excellence from the Indiana State Council of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).
The award, presented to Barker at the organization's annual conference, recognizes successful efforts in applying creative management concepts to improve performance, advance the profession and to promote understanding of human resources management. Barker, who has served in an HR leadership role at Appirio for more than two years, was nominated for the award by two of her colleagues.
"I'm thankful to have an amazing team who are the reason for our success," says Barker. "Having the right people makes all the difference, and we're so fortunate to have talented HR professionals to help our business achieve its objectives."
Appirio, a global firm based in Indianapolis, specializes in enterprise crowdsourcing and cloud services. Barker directs the company's recruitment team, including recruitment in India. She also oversees the organization's HR business partners'--two in the United States and one in Japan. Prior to joining Appirio, Barker worked as an HR business partner for Aprimo, a marketing software company, and also for technology firm Interactive Intelligence. During her senior year at Kelley Indianapolis, Barker completed an HR internship with ProTrans International.
"I enjoy HR opportunities in the tech industry because although the pace is quick, you can make decisions quickly and have immediate impact," Barker says. "It's challenging to recruit and bring in the right people, but figuring out how to constantly change and evolve to better meet those needs is what makes this field so rewarding."
After studying apparel merchandising at IU Bloomington and then transferring to IUPUI to study finance, Barker discovered her passion for human resources after getting to know some of Kelley's faculty in the field.
"Learning from Kelley professors about the field of HR management, I realized that HR professionals can have a real impact on the business and that the role is critical to how well a business functions," she says. "I'm still in contact with many of my Kelley professors; in fact, some have helped me find good candidates for my teams, so there's definitely still a connection for me with Kelley."